Elon Musk Buys Twitter 

Jieden Fenderson, Staff Writer

Elon Musk is an interesting person. From naming his son something akin to a grocery store checkout code, to owning many cool futuristic companies like Tesla and Space X, he has gained a lot of publicity and has sometimes been referred to as the “real life Tony Stark.” Not long ago Musk bought about a tenth of Twitter, one of the most popular social media companies, claiming that he would push the company towards a brighter future and protect the free speech of Twitter users. Due to this bold move by Musk, the internet has gone into sort of a frenzy. Many people support his decision to buy Twitter while others are quitting the platform because of it. However, Musk buying Twitter raises a lot of questions about the future of the company and the current outlook on billionaires today. What will Musk do with Twitter? How will him buying Twitter affect his other companies, and will this possibly start a scramble for billionaires to rush and grab as many companies as they can? 

First off, let us look at some of Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter. For one, Musk has stated that he wants to drive Twitter’s incoming revenue away from advertisements, which currently provide Twitter with 85% of its revenue. He wants to move towards data licensing (providing data to other companies to better their ads), as well as create subscriptions like Twitter Blue which allows users more convenience when using the social media app. Musk believes that these actions will bring in more revenue to Twitter in the future, which in turn brings him some revenue too. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Musk anticipates Twitter’s total number of users will grow from 217 million at the end of last year to nearly 600 million in 2025 and 931 million six years from now. The growth will come from ad supported business and new features like Twitter blue.” Additionally, he plans on growing the number of employees working at Twitter from the current 7500 to about 11,000 in the future. What is ironic is that many employees will be laid off at first. 

One of the biggest claims Elon Musk has stated is that he will make Twitter “freer.” Some believe in this while others have not. However, there are some issues with Elon Musk’s “free Twitter” idea. For one, many are suspicious as he has had a history of silencing critics. According to Bloomberg,At Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, Musk has a long track record of silencing or punishing anyone who goes public with criticism of a project or practice. Workers must sign nondisclosure agreements and arbitration clauses that prevent them from taking their employer to court.” Another issue with Musk’s claim is that free speech can look very different across the world. Musk’s interpretation of the concept of free speech tends to be very Americo-centric. For example, many Southeast Asian countries, Middle Eastern countries, and even some European countries have a policy called Lèse-majesté, where you cannot speak poorly about the monarchy or leadership of the country. Twitter’s new stance on complete free speech could be controversial in other countries, leading to many new problems like governments potentially banning Twitter in their country, or general controversy. However, most of all, a lot of people simply do not believe in Musk. When asked about Elon Musk “freeing Twitter” Senior Karl Yount said that he “doesn’t believe in [Elon Musk buying Twitter to give people free speech]. [Yount thinks] Elon Musk wants more power and influence, and Musk is using ‘freedom of speech’ as a cover up to justify it.” A funny side note to all of this is that Elon Musk has claimed that he will bring back former president Donald Trump to Twitter. 

Although many are against Musk buying Twitter, according to Fortune.com, a poll shows that “nearly three in five Americans (59%) said that they either somewhat or strongly supported Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform.” Freshman Justine Wang thinks that “People will dislike [Twitter] more. I mean, lots of people are already leaving Twitter now that Elon bought it.One question that this event has brought up is the power of billionaires in the modern world today. Elon Musk has bought Twitter with the snap of his fingers and is rumored to potentially buy more companies. This also triggered a fear of a potential billionaire scramble. Sophomore Alan Roy says “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a billionaire scramble, but I think this was sort of a one-off thing. Buying a big company like Twitter was something beneficial soley to Elon, as other billionaires are not in the public scene like Elon to do that. 

In conclusion, Elon Musk’s simple action of buying Twitter will have many butterfly effects, some intended and some unintended.  Twitter is going to go through a possible dramatic change, and that change could affect the entire internet, possibly the world. The definition of free speech could come to question, as well as the place of billionaires in the world today. What Musk and users on Twitter do will change the future for sure.